Lok Sabha elections 2019: Opposition fails to consolidate anti-BJP vote in key seats
From problems in Uttar Pradesh to Bihar and Haryana, HT lists some key constituencies where the opposition parties have failed to come together.
Ahead of the fifth phase of polling on Monday, consolidating the anti-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) vote seems to be the biggest challenge for the opposition. From problems in Uttar Pradesh to Bihar and Haryana, HT lists some key constituencies where the opposition parties have failed to come together.
The Congress’ decision not to withdraw its candidate from Lucknow in favour of Samajwadi Party (SP) candidate Poonam Sinha (whose husband Shatrughan Sinha is a recent and high-profile defector from the BJP to the Congress) has debunked claims of opposition unity and consolidation of the anti-BJP vote in key constituencies in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections.
With Acharya Pramod Krishnam of the Congress in the fray from Lucknow, the triangular contest is expected to help union home minister Rajnath Singh who is seeking re-election.
The opposition failed to put up a joint candidate from this high-profile seat from where Prime Minister Narendra Modi is seeking re-election. While Ajai Rai is the Congress candidate, the SP has fielded Shalini Yadav.
The SP initially named Yadav its candidate but later declared dismissed Border Security Force (BSF) jawan Tej Bahadur Yadav as her replacement.
However, after the Election Commission rejected his nomination on the grounds that he failed to submit a certificate (from BSF) that he was not been dismissed for corruption or disloyalty to the state, Yadav is back in the fray. Still, it’s just a matter of who has a better losing margin against the PM who is expected to win easily.
The Congress named Imran Masood as its candidate from the constituency, while the Mahagathbandhan has fielded Fazlur Rahman. The move could split the Muslim vote in this Muslim-dominated constituency and help the BJP’s Raghav Lakhanpal who is seeking re-election. While the Congress claims that its candidates in Uttar Pradesh will not help the BJP , this is one seat where the divided opposition means advantage to the BJP
The situation in Moradabad is similar to that in Saharanpur. ST Hasan of the grand alliance and Imran Pratapgarhi of the Congress are both pitted against BJP’s Kunwar Sarvesh Kumar. Again, the chances of a divide in the Muslim vote are high.
The Congress pitched for the Communist Party of India’s Kanhaiya Kumar as the combined opposition candidate from Begusarai against the BJP’s Giriraj Singh. However, the RJD leadership was not keen on supporting Kumar and instead fielded Tanveer Hassan from the seat. The move could help Singh.
Not far from Jind where a divided opposition led to a BJP victory earlier this year in a by-poll, the fight here is between sitting Lok Sabha member Dushyant Chautala of the Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) (which has allied with the Aam Aadmi Party) and the Congress’ Bhavya Bishnoi. That can only mean great news for union minister Choudhary Birendra Singh’s son, former bureaucrat Brijendra Singh.
As analyst N Bhaskara Rao says: “Blown up egos of the opposition leaders prevented them from coming together in the larger interest. They have also failed in sending a message of unity across the country. Yielding is a better way of winning.’’